Collaboration provides ‘cradle to grave’ engineering solutions

6th September 2022

TWO long-established Cumbrian companies have formed a collaborative partnership to complement each other’s strengths and provide a more comprehensive service to their clients.

Engineering company Forth, which specialises in providing bespoke solutions to industry-wide problems, and design consultancy Actemium Design UK, formerly North West Projects, have entered a formal agreement to join forces to provide ‘cradle to grave’ services all under one roof.

The partnership was agreed as both companies identified the other could provide expertise in areas they were lacking in, with Actemium providing design and substantiation services and Forth developing these assets through its mechanical and electrical engineering skill sets.

The newly agreed collaboration is already reaping the rewards following successful tenders for design, build and testing on two projects, including the creation of specialist underwater lifting equipment for use within the legacy ponds at Sellafield.

Mark Telford, the Managing Director of Forth, said: “This partnership will provide a one-stop shop for clients that require engineered solutions to their problems within challenging timescales through the ability to provide concurrent trials and testing at the early phases of design.

“Forth cannot provide design and substantiation services to as high a standard as Actemium can while we can provide the agility to develop and manufacture equipment for suppliers of high quality with a quick turn-around time, so it’s a case of both companies recognising its strengths and weaknesses and working together, rather than against each other, to offer the best value for money to our clients.

“Collaboration is key to SMEs across Cumbria and by streamlining our services and joining up with other businesses means that we’re offering a better service to our clients in highly regulated industries without compromising on the high quality we both work to.

“By working together, we are keeping jobs in the local area because it removes the requirement for clients to look elsewhere to plug the gaps that we wouldn’t be able to provide on a project.”

Pooling resources together will also go a long way in addressing the ongoing recruitment crisis most industries are currently experiencing.

As both companies are actively recruiting for suitable candidates to join their teams, the collaborative working removes the need to employ somebody to carry out the roles the firms cannot currently deliver themselves, therefore saving money for the company and subsequently the client.

Forth and Actemium will also share staffing resources and provide ongoing training for apprentices over the two bases.

Mark said: “SMEs are experiencing huge difficulties in recruiting the talent they need to fill vacant roles, but this partnership means that we don’t have to continue to struggle finding somebody suitable as we can provide the required expertise between us.

“It’s mutually beneficial to both businesses and it means that we are in a much stronger position to provide a better service to clients.

“It opens doors for us to share staff on projects and also provide practical training opportunities to employees at the respective companies, and that will bring out the best in our workforce.”

Actemium Design UK, which operated as North West Projects for more than 30 years, is now part of the globally-renowned Vinci Corporation and has a base at Whitehaven Harbour.

Brian Berry, Actemium’s Business Unit General Manager, said: “It’s great to be collaborating with such an innovative company like Forth, and we are looking forward to a long and successful partnership.

“As a company, our specialisms lie in mechanical and electrical design across highly regulated industries such as nuclear, decommissioning, pharmaceutical and oil and gas, and we have a long history of providing a first class service to our clients.

“By combining our capabilities, this partnership is a really exciting collaboration to be involved in and working together will enable us to provide an even more comprehensive, industry-wide service.”

Forth has offices in Flimby, Cleator Moor and Barrow-in-Furness, all in Cumbria, while Actemium Design has a presence in Lancashire and Hampshire in addition to its Cumbrian base.

John Maddison, Managing Director of iSH, said: “It’s great to see a collaboration like this which delivers enhanced capability and benefits SMEs, industry, and the wider economic region.”